My face had never knowingly been that close to a squirrel’s erect penis before, and the prospect of it spreading the contents of the nearby unburied nuts brought me out of the situation quite abruptly.
I had fully intended to reverse my car back over the squirrel’s head to put it out of any potential misery that I might have unwittingly subjected it to when it ran under my previously forward rolling wheels. But in the nine seconds it took me to get back to its body at the side of the road, I saw its back leg squirreling in the air. I don’t have a better word for it. The little frantic movements that a squirrel’s leg makes when it is furtively hiding nuts.
I had massive doubt. Would my tiny car actually kill it, or just wound it some more was the first one. I flashbacked to Jim’s story of trying, while tripping on shrooms to kill a sick puppy by stamping on its head with little success. Heads are pretty thick. I remember dropping a pig’s head from the top of our college onto the concrete below and being amazed that it seemed to stand up to the impact unphased.
The next thought I had was, is the squirrel actually just wounded and could it be saved? I squatted near the little orange fuzzball, and prodded it with a stick I found. After all I didn’t want to contract squirrel AIDS or for the little nutter to attack me. It’s eyes were open, and its leg was pawing at the air. It looked okay physically, oh wait, what was that lump by its tail? Were its guts spilling out, was it suffering from a hernia? Damn. Not at all. It wasn’t ruptured. They were his giant balls.
I’ve never attended squirrel physiology 101, and I don’t know what might be wrong. I poked each leg with my branch, and they all seemed quite leggy. Mr Nutkins didn’t seem too perturbed, his shallow breathing and legs up in the air the only sign that all was not right in his semi-arborial world.
Maybe squirrels always breathed like this. How should I know? OK. impact crisis. Probably in shock. What do you do to people in shock? Flashback to that guy having a stroke at the Stratford Premiere Inn breakfast buffet, and trying to keep my son blissfully unaware of the impending death while explaining why we couldn’t get any bacon or orange juice right now. That was it! Sweet drinks. Maybe tea with sugar. Good for shock. Right, what do squirrels drink, and do I have any? No.
Nurse, we’re losing him. I was at a loss. Charge the defibrillator. Nutkins was SOL – I didn’t have one. His eyes started to half close and then his dick shot out – a bright red flourish of triumph. His midget glory receded. Is this how we die? The junk returned – was this his last rigid rigor before endless mortis, this tiny death about to happen right before and possibly in my eyes if I didn’t step back?
His boner subsided, and he was still breathing. Right. Mammals. They like dark places and to be close to other mammals in times of stress. I nudged him into the grassy verge with the branch. I talk to him softly. I kind of want to place a hand on him, but that seems a bit interspecies gay. I don’t know what to do. He might be fine. He might be in excruciating agony. Poor little bloke. I talk calmly to him as I saw a friend do to a dog before he was euthanized. That’s it. I should kill him.
I go back to my car, which has been emptied for the trip to the track. No obvious tire irons or shovels to finish off Nutkins. My mind settles on the only two tools I have. A pair of pliers and a boxcutter**. I collect them and return to the scene of the mercy slaying. I’ve never slit an animal’s throat before. And Nutkins does have teeth. If I can just get the pliers in his chest, I can avoid the squirrel AIDS, the end of Fatal Attraction attack from just before the grave. Instead of jizz, I now ponder a geyser of blood in my face, and showing up to the track looking like I’ve vampired a virgin.
Hang on. Is slitting this guy’s throat even humane? Can you be humane for squirrels? Give me a sign that you’ve got some chutzpah left you little fudding rodent. Sheeyit you’re a rodent. Does that mean you’re not even a mammal? And here I am talking to you because I mis-badged you a mammal*. I don’t know what to do. Am I not slicing your throat because I’m scared to do it? Or because I’m scared to make the wrong decision.
I pull out my phone. Thank you little baby Jesus. It’s 8:54, which means I have to leave for the track to get there by 9. Which means I’m going to leave you to fate. In the verge at the side of the road. With the branch to mark your spot so I can come back and check later.
I’m not cut out to be a killer, and I’m not much good at caring for dying things. As I arrive at the track, I find the owner and tell him of the squirrel peril. He’s a grown up. He’ll know what to do.
* for the record, squirrels are both mammals and rodents and the correct thing to do when injuring them with you Miata is to make them a cup of milky tea with honey and ginseng.
** boxcutter = Stanley knife